web analytics
The Standard

Privatisation: Day Of Action

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, June 11th, 2010 - 22 comments
Categories: activism, democracy under attack, local government, privatisation - Tags: , , ,

John Key continues to let his attack dog do his business, and take the heat. So on Saturday there’s some more heat with a big Day Of Action to fight Rodney’s latest nasty bill.

The Greens, Labour and the Maori Party are all fighting this odorous piece of legislation that aims to allow privatisation of water, amongst other attacks on local democracy.

The Bill also removes a lot of consultation with the public about whether to sell assets or if a major development is going on in your area; creates a list of ‘core services’ for councils to focus on (excluding things like pensioner housing, the environment and economic development); and puts in place rate caps based on those in Colorado, where you can pay $100 to have your local streetlight turned on, and the transit system has all but shut down.

The experience from London to Bolivia to well… New Zealand is that on privatisation water rates go up 50% in 4 years, investment goes down, and profits increase markedly – but are then shipped back to France where the private water firms are based. If systems are leased (as proposed), they are also generally run into the ground near the end of the lease to save the private company money – at the public’s expense. Monopolies like water make absolutely no sense to put in private hands – there is no reason for the firms not to gouge profits out. Councils can be tempted however, as although the long term cost is greater (after covering a private firm’s higher borrowing costs plus profit), it removes things from the balance sheet, making the accounts look healthier.

The Colorado experience is really worth looking at – it is terrifying in the extreme, but it’s Rodney’s wet dream.

As well as you turning up at the Day of Action, Labour and the Greens are also calling for you to make a submission before Friday the 18th. The Greens’ guide is here, Labour’s here.

Come on down, and stand up against NAct’s latest attack on democracy.

22 comments on “Privatisation: Day Of Action”

  1. Fisiani 1

    Water is not being privatised. Get a dictionary. There is the possibility of water supply services being contracted out.

  2. Lazy Susan 2

    This bill will allow councils to privatise core services, such as water, for up to 35 years with little need for consultation or justification.

    It seems that, in Auckland’s case, the CCO”s will be able to make such a decision without needing the consent of council. This bill is odorous and will clear the path for the robbery of our assets by a corporate elite with all of the profits being hiked off overseas to multinational parent companies.

    Former Managing Director of United Water South Australia, Graham Wood, has been apponted as ‘Programme Manager’ for the Auckland Transition Authority to lead the integration of Auckland regional water services. United Water already run the privatised water services in Papakura & Franklin so you can see where this is going.

    It’s a blatent attack on democracy and once an asset has been privatised it’s gone for 35 years at least. Doesn’t matter what council you subsequently vote for once it’s gone it’s gone. Hide and NAct disgust me with their grubby attack on democracy . We need to fight this with everything we’ve got.

    • john 2.1

      Hi Susan I fully support what you say 100%. It’s sickening the arrogance and contempt for New Zealanders the Nact regime displays. On a lighter note something you said reminded me of a Shakespeare comedy where the buffoon gets his words mixed up: I am sure you meant the bill is onerous not odorous! We can laugh at that one together! Sorry for sounding patronising.

      • Lazy Susan 2.1.1

        Thanks John. I did actually mean odorous as in “it stinks”. However I take your point that odorous can also mean something smells fragrant which this bill certainly doesn’t.

        Let’s say the bill is oderous, onerous and “on us” as in “the bill will be on us” as the multinational troughers gorge themselves at our expense.

  3. sweetd 3

    Lazy Susan

    “…once an asset has been privatised it’s gone for 35 years at least.”

    Sorry, but where does it go?

  4. Gooner 4

    Susan is lazy alright.

    So lazy she doesn’t even bother to understand that it cannot be privitisation because the council is the ultimate owner of the water infrastructure assets.

    So lazy that she doesn’t even bother to understand that Watercare cannot make any such decision without the consent of council because the council issues the statement of intent which Watercare is obliged to follow.

    So lazy that she doesn’t realise, as sweetd noted, that a privatised asset hasn’t gone anywhere. The infrastructure stays in NZ Susan, in case you missed that one.

    If that is the calibre of the activists in the “day of inaction” then it’ll be a doozy. For sure.

    • felix 4.1

      You couldn’t be more wrong when you say “it cannot be privitisation because the council is the ultimate owner of the water infrastructure assets.”

      The definition of privatisation is far broader than you imply: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privatization

      Transferring control of a public service to a private contractor most certainly is privatisation.

    • Lazy Susan 4.2

      Gooner thank you for your kind words.

      You seem not to have read or have chosen not to understand the bill. You can find it here.

      A 35 year lease of an asset with managment control handed over to a private company is privitisation. The asset is privatised for 35 years. See Clause 31 of the Amendment Bill.

      A statement of intent is as wooly as it sounds. “Oh, I intended to charge a reasonable price for water but unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances I didn’t, sorry about that local body”

      And yes the asset does stay in NZ but the control of the asset passes to a private company for 35 years and who knows what shape it might be in once it’s handed back.

  5. Jum 5

    Sweetd

    In words of one syllable (3 syllables!). We pay, they own and charge what they like for 35 (3 syllables) years. They use the infrastructure (4 syllables) we paid for, they pass on costs for repairs (2 syllables) and replacement (3 syllables). We gain zero (2 syllables). They profit (2 syllables) at our expense (2 syllables).

    No one should profit (2) least of all a foreign (2) multinational (5) from our water (2) resources (3).

  6. Gooner 6

    The definition of privitisation is whatever you deem it to be it seems.

    • felix 6.1

      Not at all. I provided a list of definitions above.

      They all define privatisation as some variant of taking public assets or services and handing control of them over to the private sector.

      It’s not that it means “whatever you deem it”, it’s just a bit broader than what you thought it was.

  7. Macro 7

    Whatever YOU deem it to be it seems. Which is a very limited use of the term.

  8. Jenny 8

    It’s good to see the three main parties of the left putting aside their differences over this very important issue.

    It bodes well for the future.

  9. Jum 9

    The most interesting part is where Graham Wood, former Managing Director of United Water, South Australia, (now employed by the Auckland Transition Agency ATA) is currently leading the ‘integration’ of Auckland regional water services, which is being prepared for a takeover by Veolia, French multinational and parent of United Water.

    Well known privatiser, David Hawkins, ex Mayor of Papakura who led Papakura down the nasty path of water privatisation/contracting out was in 2000 appointed Corporate Liaison Manager at Watercare Services Ltd by CEO Mark Ford, who now heads ATA. So, first, they take over Watercare, then filter through ATA, now working through JKeyll and Hide to remove safeguard legislation to enable easier ‘change of ownership’ to private business. Shameful.

    Felix’ reference to Wikipedia was very interesting. Smith lying about the health of ACC matched exactly the plan of international privatising chief execs to talk down the value of a state asset and then sell it on to private business, which suddenly realises a very valuable asset. Meanwhile the top management receive very lucrative payoffs.

    What these so-called leaders of our country are plotting against their own countrymen is enough to make your skin crawl. They’re political psychopaths with no regard for human rights or consequences, only their own profit and power.

    Does that make those who voted for NAct psycho-masochists? Sounds about right.

  10. Gooner 10

    From your definition link:

    Privatization is the incidence or process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency or public service from the public sector (government) to the private sector (\”business\”)

    Ownership of Watercare is not being transferred. End of story. As I initially said, it remains the owner. Stop the lies.

    • Lazy Susan 10.1

      From the same definition link

      The process of private, for-profit businesses taking over the provision of public services. Types of government contracts that have been privatized include prisons, water utilities, trash collection, clerical jobs, food service, information system jobs, and job placement for welfare recipients

      Stop the semantic twaddle and show some courage in your convictions and address the issue.

  11. Jum 11

    Gooner
    What a joke. This government is coached to lie. It is coached by Lord Ashcroft and everything Key has done is now being done by Cameron. Your mates disgust me. How any government can ram through what this Douglas/Key/Hide/English has forced upon us and now tell us to trust them – like I said – what a joke.

  12. Gooner 12

    Jum, Key is not a mate of mine – I have never voted for the National Party.

    Your conspiracy theories are good enough for comics. You should write some.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    2 days ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    3 days ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    3 days ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    3 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    3 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    3 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    3 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    3 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    4 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    4 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    4 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    4 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    4 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    5 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    5 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    5 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    6 days ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    6 days ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    6 days ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    6 days ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    1 week ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Backdown whiff in state house leasing option
    Bill English’s admission that the Government is looking at leasing large numbers of state houses to non-government providers has the whiff of a backdown, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This is an acknowledgement by Bill English that he has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis downgrade threatening banking sector
    The out of control Auckland housing market is now threatening the banking sector, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the credit rating of our banks out of fear of the bubble bursting, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Today we have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good money after bad for failed experiment
    The National government are throwing good money after bad with their decision to pump even more funding into their failed charter school experiment, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are already major problems with several of the first charter… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National borrows Labour’s idea on urban development
    Labour's Associate Environment spokesperson Phil Twyford says he welcomes the Government's adoption of Labour's policy for a National Policy Statement on urban development, and has called on the Government to take up Labour's offer to work together on these issues.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Toothless OIO never refused a single farmland sale
    The Overseas Investment Office has approved more than 290 consents from foreign investors to buy sensitive land in New Zealand, but has not turned down a single application says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash  “The Minister of Land information,… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere